Body shaming is a hot topic right now. As more and more celebrities embark upon plastic surgery, contouring, false eyelashes, hair extentions and even photoshopping their selfies; the quest for perfection has reached an unsustainable level, even for those we percieve as flawless. Woman are pushing back, and calling others out for making them feel ashamed for having a little extra weight, cellulite or droopy breasts.
While I couldn’t agree more, that women should not have to be embarassed by their imperfections, I do have an issue with how many of them dress.
Last week, Adam Glassman, the creative director of Oprah magazine was blasted for suggesting that women can wear crop tops “If, (and only if ) you have a flat stomach, feel free to try one. For more coverage, layer the top over a longer shirt…” The internet went crazy, with women taking to social media to let him know that his comment was considered offensive.
Writer Tamal Anita posted: “Surprised to see this level of #bodyshaming (👎🏻) in Oprah magazine. The feature is about women feeling healthy. Part of health is self-esteem and that’s intrinsically connected to body image. Stop telling women what they CAN’T wear. We can wear and do and be ANYTHING that makes us feel strong, powerful, passionate and in charge of our own destinies. I hope young women and women of any age don’t feel like they’re restricted by editorially imposed fashion ‘rules.’ The only rules are there are no rules. Wear what you love, what makes you feel confident, and own it. Confidence is power, and it’s contagious.
This triggered Sarah Conley to launch a Twitter campaign, with the hashtag #rockthecrop, and women of all sizes responded by posting photos of themselves in cropped tops.
While I support the empowerment of women, I also support taking a look in the mirror and using that as a barometer of whether or not your “right to bare arms”, or bellies or anything else is attractive.
Before you all attack, let me just say that this isn’t about size. It is about what looks good, and what looks appropriate. Although I am on the petite side of the equation, I know what does and doesn’t flatter me, and try to avoid wearing things that don’t look right on me. And there are plenty of them. Some of those #rockthecrop plus sized women chose modified versions of the trend that they looked great in. They adapted the trend by showing just a sliver of skin, in well fitting clothes that don’t show any spillover. Others did not. Just because you can wear something, doesn’t mean you should. Sorry, but I agree with Adam here. He was asked how to tell if one can pull off a crop top. He is a fashion expert. He answered honestly and gave alternatives as to how to wear the look without exposing a less than toned midsection. What these women are showing him, is another way to wear the look that he didn’t think of. I have to admit, its intrigueing to me too.
By the way, Oprah issued an apology:”We support, encourage and empower all women to look great, feel confident and live their best lives – in this case, we could have expressed it better. We appreciate the feedback and will be more mindful going forward.”
Here are a few of the plus sized women who got it right:
At risk of sounding like an old bitty, there is also a line of decency being crossed. I have seen more than my share of skin walking the streets lately. Some of these woman have gorgeous figures, others not so much. Yet, I am taken aback by shorts so short that the butt cheeks are exposed, worn with bare tops that show too much belly and too much cleavage on women of any size. In an urban environment, there should be some sense of decorum. This is not the beach, or a night club. This is a business district in broad daylight. A rule of thumb is to choose one body part to expose, and cover the rest. Otherwise, it just looks sleazy, not sexy, or stylish. And yes, whether it is politically correct to say this or not, exposing a toned belly trumps a jiggly one any day.
I am always surprised by those wearing obscenely and unfashionably short skirts or shorts when they are over weight and their thighs are riddled with cellulite. Why not add a couple of inches to flatter your figure, while still wearing the style you like? The proportions will be better, and a little extra coverage can go a long way. Use a mirror to decide what looks good, not to prove a point that you think that a store not offering size 18 booty shorts is discriminating against you.
Women should be empowered to make their own wardrobe decisions, regardless of what the fashion industry, or anyone else dicates. Go ahead, throw out the old rules and wear what works for you, regardless of age or size. Just remember to let the mirror be your guide.
Photos: via Twitter #rockthecrop
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